How one Donegal businesswoman knitted a community together

first_imgA simple pair of knitting needles, a few balls of yarn and a pattern – that’s all that Rosaleen Hegarty says is required to create a beautiful garment.To create a company that has been around for 40 years and had 550 workers at its peak takes a lot more crafting.Eighty-three-year-old entrepreneur Rosaleen remains at the helm of Crana Knits. Over the years, she has delivered an amazing contribution to Donegal and her mentoring, knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit has inspired many others to think outside the box.  Rosaleen will be a keynote speaker at the Donegal Women in Business Network 2019 Conference on October 1st. She is a perfect fit for the #LookingBackMovingForward theme, which celebrates all Donegal businesswomen through the decades.Rosaleen’s workshop in Buncrana is a treasure trove of textiles from the years gone by, filled with unique pieces, 1,000 patterns and a few special sweaters made for some of the world’s biggest fashion designers. JW Anderson once hailed Rosaleen a ‘genius knitter’, while writer Vawn Corrigan saw her as the ‘doyen of Aran’.Even today, visitors from the US call to Rosaleen’s door hoping to buy an Aran sweater – a piece of Irish heritage that they know is designed and knitted to perfection. How a teacher from Inishowen became the premier name in Irish knitting is a story that weaves into Rosaleen’s personal and business life. Rosaleen recently shared her story with, asking this at the start of the interview: “Guess how many times I’ve been in a hospital theatre when a surgeon has lifted a knife?”“Twenty-three.“I’m a cancer survivor, I had three different types of cancer over the years, but I’m still here,” she said.Rosaleen was once a primary teacher in Cockhill, in the days when needlework was on the curriculum. She had every girl in the school trained up, so by the time they finished they were knitting sweaters.Back in 1950s Buncrana, once a girl reached the age of 14 there was no secondary school for her, and she couldn’t start in one of the local textile factories until she reached 16.  Rosaleen Hegarty, Crana KnitsAran knitting was beginning to emerge as a fashion, so Rosaleen enlisted her friends to order sweaters. She wrote the patterns and gave out the wool to the girls. “I would get 10 shillings out of the women to give to the girl for pocket money, and that’s why they loved knitting,” she said.The girls taught their mothers, sisters and neighbours to knit, and soon a knitting empire was born in Buncrana. Little did they know that this was the origin of Crana Hand Knits, a company that would represent the knitting tradition all over the world.Rosaleen Hegarty, Crana KnitsBusiness was going great until Rosaleen, who is a mother of six, was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 46.  She underwent a hysterectomy, but two years later, she had to have a mastectomy and twelve months of chemotherapy. Many other procedures followed over the years and Rosaleen has never gotten the all-clear, and to return to teaching she had to be clear for five years. But her knitters were always there for her.“At the time of the cancer I called on the key knitters, I told them the truth – I said I don’t know how long I’m going to be here, why don’t you form yourselves into a little co-op, because there is good knitters all around and things are going well, and I’ll help you as long as I can.“They came back to me and said ‘we’re just going to do it a little different, we’ll help you as long as you are here’. I just kept on,” she said.Crana Knits was registered in 1979. The business base soon expanded from a spare room in Rosaleen’s family home to two portacabins out the back. A perfectionist in her trade, Rosaleen was motivated by poor knitting in other parts of the country to establish her own knitting school.“There was too much rubbish knitting going out,” she said. “I couldn’t bear to see knitting that wasn’t right.”The National Knitting Centre was opened in Lisfannon in 1990. From there, machine knitters and crochet workers created clothing for stores such as Dunnes Stores and Dorothy Perkins.Meanwhile, the hand-knitting business supplied Blarney, Carraig Dunn, Quills, House of Ireland and the American market.“At that time I had built up and had 550 knitters. I had a little van and about 18 full-time workers in Lisfannon. All the hand-knitting was done in the homes,” Rosaleen said.Crana KnitsRosaleen travelled the length and breadth of Ireland with suitcases of clothing, taking orders and selling to stores. She also put her own stamp on Aran through ClannArans – a brand of sweaters designed around Irish and Irish-American clan names.At the same time, Rosaleen came on the radar of international designers who ordered eclectic woollen creations from her for the catwalks and boutiques.Rosaleen Hegarty, Crana Knits, looking back at the patterns she wrote for designersA designer sweater created by Crana Hand KnitsChristian Lacroix, Jean Charles de Castelbajac and JW Anderson, to name but a few, have featured works from Crana Knits. She also supplied a baby shop owned by Susie Hilfiger.“Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Susie would have been down here quite often. If they had a gift they wanted to give anybody, they would come to me for a sweater,” Rosaleen recalled.Derry-born actress Roma Downey, star of Touched by an Angel, is also a big fan of Crana Knits. She wore a woollen coat in a winter scene of the popular series and has championed the company on social media.Some of Rosaleen’s most creative patterns were written for the catwalks, and even worn by the designers themselves.“The last big designer I had was Jonathan Anderson. We actually knitted a babysuit for him,” Rosaleen said.“He was here and he saw a baby suit I had on a doll. He decided for the show in London he wanted one, but it was to fit him. Six foot two and big long arms and big long legs. And he wanted it in pink.“I drafted out a pattern for one of my knitters and she knitted it.”The only thing Rosaleen struggled with was getting one of her male accountants to try it on for size. Inishowen men clearly weren’t too accustomed to wearing pink one-piece suits.Rosaleen Hegarty with the babysuit that inspired Jonathan AndersonNorthern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson loved the suit so much that he wore it on the catwalk twice – first in pink and dyed black the second time. Rosaleen was invited over to London Fashion Week as the fashion house won the menswear award for knitwear.Many more invitations came from the US throughout Rosaleen’s career. She represented Donegal and the Irish knitting sector at Milwaukee Irish Fest, the Ireland Show in Secaucus and in Boston with the Irish Trade Board.“I exported before I sold on the Irish market,” she explained.The Crana Knits American market sales began with Alex McGrath of Donegal Imports, who recommended Rosaleen to his contacts across the States. She still exports to Irish stores in America, as well as Japan, with around 50 Irish knitters working for her across the country.The broad reach of her company made Rosaleen stand out among the first members of the Donegal Women in Business Network. At the first-ever meeting in Ballybofey in 1999, she found that no other local businesswomen were exporting at that time. Buncrana businesswoman Rosaleen Hegarty (Crana Hand Knits) at the Donegal Women in Business Network Local Enterprise Week event on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2019Looking ahead to the future of her own sector, Rosaleen is not so hopeful for modern day knitting.“It’s dying out,” she said. “Even the small Irish shops in American are closing.”To revive the craft, she said she would love to see knitting being taught in schools again.Rosaleen is doing her part to keep the art alive by preserving her patterns. A thick folder, packed with reams of patterns is the starting point of her book. It’s a work-in-progress, she said, with 50 lessons on Irish Aran Knitting to help people discover a love for the ‘fascinating craft’.Rosaleen’s unique skill for writing patterns is what has set Crana Knits apart, she believes. “I put it all down to writing patterns, knowing your business and being unique with your designs.”Some of her staff have been with the company for over three decades. In this time though, Rosaleen has yet to find someone to continue with the art of pattern writing. This, she said, is all she needs to hand over the reins.“I will retire like that (clicks her fingers) if somebody would take over, but I have fifty people working and I am not going to let them down.”If you’d like to hear more insights from this iconic Donegal businesswoman, make sure to come to the Donegal Women in Business Network’s 20th Anniversary Conference on October 1st. Tickets are on sale now at: Hegarty and Donegal Women in Business Network PRO Evelyn Mc GlynnHow one Donegal businesswoman knitted a community together was last modified: September 23rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:buncranacrana knitsdonegal women in businessknitwearrosaleen hegartytextileslast_img read more

Viewpoints Campaign Spin On Drug Development Costs A Doctor Questions The Gun

first_img African Americans and particularly African-American men continue to be perceived as being violent when they are not. This phenomenon is not simply a belief system but also appears to be an overriding perceptual reality that directs the behavior of caretakers and law enforcement officers. (William Lawson, 8/11) STAT: What I Learned From The Ebola Crisis, And Am Grateful For Visualize a long line, more than 500,000 people long. Look closer. They are all female. You’ll see lots of girls, some new born. What you can’t see is the many who have had their genitalia mutilated. Those who haven’t are in danger. This imaginary queue represents real people, the number of women and girls in the United States who were “at risk of or had been subjected to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in 2012.” (Joe Davidson, 8/11) San Jose Mercury News: Alzheimer’s Patients Need More Options, Funding Orlando Sentinel: UN Panel Threatens Drug Discovery: As A Patient, You Could Be Denied  As a leader in the Republican Party for the past 40 years, I’ve been involved in the development of 10 party platforms. Party platforms are important because they are more than a list of policies. Instead, they are a statement of the very different world views that explain those policies. This year’s Democratic and Republican Party platforms provide a useful example of differing world views on an issue that will dramatically impact the health and well-being of every U.S. citizen: biomedical research. (Newt Gingrich, 8/11) Des Moines Register: Medicare Proposals Could Limit Iowans’ Health Options The Tennessean: New Guidelines Could Save Lives Of TN Stroke Patients Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree that Medicare bureaucrats should be unleashed to negotiate lower prices with drug companies, and predict billions of dollars in savings as a result. In this political era when any common ground between these two adversaries should be venerated, it is a shame that we must point out that they are both wrong. (Geoffrey F. Joyce and Neeraj Sood, 8/12) Medical specialization dates back at least to the time of Galen. For most of medicine’s history, however, the boundaries of medical fields have been based on factors such as patient age (pediatrics and geriatrics), anatomical and physiological systems (ophthalmology and gastroenterology), and the physician’s toolset (radiology and surgery). Hospital medicine, by contrast, is defined by the location in which care is delivered. Whether such delineation is a good or bad sign for physicians, patients, hospitals, and society hinges on how we understand the interests and aspirations of each of these groups. (Richard Gunderman, 8/10) Viewpoints: Campaign Spin On Drug Development, Costs; A Doctor Questions The Gun Question A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. The Wall Street Journal: Dems V. GOP On New Drugs The New England Journal Of Medicine: Hospitalists And The Decline Of Comprehensive Care Twenty years ago, we described the emergence of a new type of specialist that we called a “hospitalist.”1 Since then, the number of hospitalists has grown from a few hundred to more than 50,000 — making this new field substantially larger than any subspecialty of internal medicine (the largest of which is cardiology, with 22,000 physicians), about the same size as pediatrics (55,000), and in fact larger than any specialty except general internal medicine (109,000) and family medicine (107,000). Approximately 75% of U.S. hospitals, including all highly ranked academic health centers, now have hospitalists. The field’s rapid growth has both reflected and contributed to the evolution of clinical practice over the past two decades. (Robert M. Wachter and Lee Goldman, 8/10) Washington Post: With 500,000 Female Genital Mutilation Survivors Or At Risk In U.S., It’s Not Just Someone Else’S Problem While many of us need help as we get older, care options for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia are much more limited and constrained even further by health insurance rules that favor medicalized care over supportive programs that might actually lessen the need for medical intervention. This was the situation my family and I faced when my beloved wife Nancy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. (John Ottoboni, 8/11) Des Moines Register: Medicaid Rule Will Improve Lives For Those With Alzheimer’s The Wall Street Journal: Doctor To Patient: Do You Have A Gun? The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has just issued a helpful reminder to all Americans. In denying a petition to loosen restrictions on marijuana, the agency repeated that the drug has “no currently accepted medical use” in the U.S. This may come as a surprise, given that 25 states already allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat maladies from PTSD to Alzheimer’s disease. Yet the truth is, research has yet to find firm evidence that marijuana can alleviate physical suffering. (8/12) For decades, University of Washington has operated the federally-sponsored Birth Defects Research Lab (BDRL)— a taxpayer-funded fetal organ and tissue procurement service. The BDRL operates similarly to companies like StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources, and Da Vinci Biologics: as a middleman go-between for abortion clinics and end-users of aborted baby parts. (David Daleiden, 8/11) Because I am a doctor, my friend Sophia told me the following story. “I go to a walk-in clinic with neck pain and a low-grade fever. I never go to the doctor. I know something is seriously off. ‘Would you test me for strep?’ I ask. ‘You’re overreacting. You just have a cold,’ this young doctor says. Would he have liked to hear me make a bigger deal about how badly I felt? I almost had to beg for a strep test. When it comes back positive, I’m so angry, I can barely speak to him. He was incompetent. Or trying to save money. Or maybe he was just lazy. He was certainly unkind.” Her doctor, apparently, was a lousy diagnostician. But more than that, she was put off by his attitude. What stuck in my mind weeks later was her choice of the word “unkind.” (Michael Stein, 8/11) center_img The Hill: Uncovering Planned Parenthood’s Public Records On Baby Body Parts The Washington Post: We All Want Our Doctors To Be Kind. But Does Kindness Actually Help Us Get Well? In short, this new rule means that Medicaid will incentivize health care providers for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease earlier and recommending community-based services and support. Most importantly, the proposed rule allows the person receiving the diagnosis to access community resources, plan for his or her future and ultimately maintain independence by staying in home longer. (Brandon Geib, 8/11) The New England Journal Of Medicine: Whole Women’s Victory — or Not? Houston Chronicle: Mental-Health Care Needs Cultural Wake-Up Call  In America and across the globe, about 7,000 new medicines are in development. There’s no question that many of them will save lives. Unfortunately, the United Nations is working to degrade the innovation ecosystem that makes such breakthroughs possible. In 2015, UN officials convened a powerful new panel to study ways to improve impoverished countries’ access to lifesaving medicines. By all indications, that panel will soon push to weaken intellectual property protections on medicines. (Paul R. Michel, 8/12) Fear and death. That’s what I remember most, though not necessarily in that order, from the nightmare when Ebola struck my hometown.Two years ago this week, the World Health Organization declared that the Ebola epidemic ravaging Liberia was a “public health emergency of international concern.” By then it had already overwhelmed Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, where I was the outpatient supervisor. (Emmanuel Lasanah, 8/11) Of all the hundreds of questions I have asked patients over the years, there was one I never asked: Are any firearms kept in or around your home? The Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians has recommended that this question be added to the litany of queries doctors ask our patients during routine visits. Do you smoke? Do you practice protected sex? Have you had your flu vaccination? Are any firearms kept in or around your home? (Jerald Winakur, 8/11) The Hill: The Obama Administration Lacks Transparency, Resists Oversight  STAT: Imprecise Research Threatens Precision Medicine Bloomberg View: The Missing Case For Medical Marijuana Facts about women’s health won out over fiction in June, when the Supreme Court, even without examining the Texas legislature’s motives, struck down its regulations aimed at closing abortion clinics. Now the question is whether facts about human development will be adequate on their own to overcome fiction in what will probably be the next front in the abortion wars: fetal pain. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is a turning point in Supreme Court jurisprudence, not just because it turned the tide in the face of 300-plus abortion restrictions passed by state legislatures in the past 5 years alone.1 It also signaled a refreshing willingness to test a law’s justifications against its actual effects. In the context of women’s reproductive rights, and abortion rights in particular, such willingness has potentially far-reaching effects for measures that interfere with physician judgment and the doctor–patient relationship, including waiting periods, prohibitions on the use of necessary techniques, and requirements for medically unnecessary procedures. (R. Alta Charo, 8/10) Stat: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Wrong About Drug Costs And Medicare Scientists at NewLink Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company located in the Iowa State University Research Park, as well as researchers at the Nanovaccine Initiative, coordinated by Iowa State University, are working to develop vaccines and nanovaccines — particles that are 23 times smaller than a red blood cell. This research has the potential to save thousands of lives. If some within the federal government have their way, however, their innovative findings and products may never even make it out of the lab. (Dan Culhane, 8/11) The FDA’s website explains that the agency “has performed extensive research and reviewed hundreds of studies about BPA’s safety,” which has led to the conclusion that “current approved uses of BPA in food containers and packaging are safe.”   Yet despite nearly 50 years of determinations that the chemical is safe, the agency and companies that use BPA continue to come under fire from environmental groups, food activists and other critics. (Henry I. Miller and Jeff Stier, 8/11) Precision medicine aims to be a transformative paradigm that moves away from the “one-size-fits-all” approach in which treatments work for some people but not others. To the average American, especially one who has cancer, precision medicine sets a high expectation of a more targeted, and so more effective, treatment. But all too often the science underpinning these targeted therapies has not been up to snuff and the result has been greater uncertainty about optimal treatment — just the opposite of what precision medicine intends to do. (Spencer Phillips Hey, 8/11) The New England Journal Of Medicine: Zero To 50,000 — The 20th Anniversary Of The Hospitalist Tennessee is part of the “stroke belt,” a collection of 11 states that is notorious for its high stroke mortality rates. In the Volunteer State, stroke accounts for thousands of deaths every year.The good news is that a new stroke surgery has emerged in recent years as an effective, minimally invasive treatment for many people who have experienced a severe ischemic stroke — a stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain. (Blaise Baxter, 8/11) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more